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Ten Takes On The Eagles' Draft Class

Posted Apr 28, 2013

The instant analysis of each team's performance in the 2013 NFL Draft is flowing. Here are 10 takes from the national sports landscape on how the Eagles fared ...

Mel Kiper, ESPN

The Eagles earned a B-plus grade overall, but an A for value, per Kiper.

"The Eagles really did well at the No. 4 spot. Lane Johnson has the best combination of upside and athleticism in the draft, and while he's an unfinished product, he's the perfect tackle to develop in Chip Kelly's fast-paced system. After that, we saw a kind of fun theme develop -- a head coach who gets a say in personnel decisions, taking players he should know really well. It started in Round 2, where the Eagles took my No. 2-ranked tight end. Well, Zach Ertz caught 11 passes against Kelly's Oregon Ducks last year.

"Matt Barkley also piled up huge numbers versus Oregon, and was the first pick taken in Round 4 (I once said I thought Barkley was a future first pick -- maybe I meant in Round 4?). Kelly wants competition at QB, and Barkley is going to come in ready to compete. Bennie Logan fits as a potential 3-4 DE or even a nose tackle, and Earl Wolff offers some depth at safety. They needed a corner and got another guy Kelly knows, Jordan Poyer from Oregon State. Joe Kruger isn't fast, but he could provide a pass rush in this system. Overall, I like what the Eagles accomplished."

Eliot Harrison, NFL.com

The Eagles were listed as one of his overall winners for the draft.

"This club did more than just get great value in the fourth round. Matt Barkley aside, first-round selection Lane Johnson should start immediately. Meanwhile, not only will second-round choice Zach Ertz push tight end Brent Celek, he'll make the offense more versatile overall. Third-round selection Bennie Logan provides ample insurance for the club's free-agent investment in nose tackle Isaac Sopoaga.

"With center Jason Kelce coming back from injury, and with Johnson now in the mix, that Eagles front five -- which also includes Jason Peters, Evan Mathis and Todd Herremans -- looks a whole lot better."

Rob Rang, CBS Sports

The Eagles earned an A- grade from Rang.

"Chip Kelly's offense requires great athleticism, not only from the skill positions but from his offensive line so far. Lane Johnson's quickness and speed will help him get out on the edge for Kelly's beloved bubble screens. Kelly took great advantage of tight ends while at Oregon, and he'll have a moveable chess piece with Zach Ertz to manipulate defenses geared toward stopping the established stars. Bennie Logan was a surprise, as many saw him as a better fit as a DT in a 4-3. Logan was far from the only schematic surprise, however, as the Eagles pulled one of the stunners of the draft with the selection of Matt Barkley in the fourth round.

"Having coached against him, Kelly certainly knows Barkley well and must really like him (as I do). While Barkley does not possess elite straight-line speed, he does have the intelligence to make decisions quickly as well as excellent accuracy while on the move, making him a potentially very nice fit in this offense. The USC product possesses the best combination of the three traits that I've found to be the best indicators of future success in the NFL -- accuracy, anticipation and awareness -- and I believe he'll prove his doubters wrong and emerge as the most successful of the 2013 quarterback class. Of the Eagles other day three selections, I really like the schematic fits of Utah defensive end Joe Kruger and Oregon State cornerback Jordan Poyer, two more highly productive Pac-12 performers whom Kelly (and GM Howie Roseman) know well."

Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News

"Top to bottom, Chip Kelly had a great first NFL Draft—using his college knowledge, especially from the Pac-12, to the Eagles' advantage. Offensively, Oklahoma left tackle Lane Johnson and Stanford tight end Zach Ertz are ideal athletes for what he wants to do, and he ended up just needing a fourth-rounder to bring USC's Matt Barkley into his quarterback competition. Defensively, with Philadelphia transitioning to a 3-4, it got the key elements of a nose tackle (LSU's Bennie Logan), edge rusher (Utah's Joe Kruger) and a starting-caliber corner (Oregon State's Jordan Poyer) in Round 7."

Jamie Newberg, Scout.com

"It was an interesting draft for Chip Kelly. He had to take Lane Johnson to shore up his offensive line. Zach Ertz is a tight end that he saw kill him in college. Of course Matt Barkley is an another guy he played four times and he knows exactly what he can do as a quarterback. That could be a great match. In the back half of the draft the Eagles landed some nice pieces for their defense."

Dan Graziano, ESPN

The Eagles had the best and most suprising moves in the NFC East, per Graziano. Here's his recap of why the Eagles were given the honor of best move:

"In the absence of any earth-shaking moves in the early rounds by NFC East teams, I'm going to have to go with the Eagles taking tackle Lane Johnson at No. 4. They probably could have traded down and out of the pick, but this was a draft in which six offensive linemen went in the first 11 picks, and the value of the third-best tackle with the fourth pick was worth hanging in there. After what happened to their offensive line with injuries in 2012, the Eagles were wise to load up there, taking an athletic player who can start at right tackle right away and maybe move to left tackle down the road once Jason Peters is done. It also helps that Johnson is the kind of lineman who can move. If Chip Kelly plans to run a lot of read-option, or even a lot of bubble screens, Johnson's ability to get out and block at the second level is going to be a big help. Also considered: The Eagles' trade-up for quarterback Matt Barkley at the top of the fourth round."

Chris Burke, Sports Illustrated

The Eagles earned a B grade from Burke.

"Until we know more about Chip Kelly’s plans, let’s just chalk the Matt Barkley pickup to finding a potential first-round QB at No. 98. The rest of this class figures to be more important in 2013. No one more so than OT Lane Johnson, who has the athleticism to thrive under Kelly. TE Zach Ertz could be a dangerous weapon in this offense, too. Defensively, expect DT Bennie Logan to help and CB Jordan Poyer to possibly prove the steal of the draft."

Dan Pompei, National Football Post

The Eagles were one of the teams that helped themselves the most this weekend.

"The first two picks, Lane Johnson and Zach Ertz, were right on. And the Eagles selected three players who each could have easily been chosen two rounds earlier in Matt Barkley (fourth), Earl Wolff (fifth) and Jordan Poyer (seventh). Said one personnel director, 'No way should Barkley have fallen that far.'"

Evan Silva, Rotoworld

"The draftnik community should love this group because aside from seventh-rounder King every member has a big name. They are all identifiable. The first two picks look like surefire hits; Johnson is an outstanding match for Chip Kelly's fast-paced offense as a well-oiled athlete with second- and even third-level blocking skills. Ertz can stretch the field vertically and creates downfield separation better than consensus top tight end Tyler Eifert. ... I still feel confident saying the Eagles' roster improved with this draft, and quite possibly significantly."

John McClain, Houston Chronicle

"Johnson is the nifty kind of tackle Chip Kelly wants in his offense. He’ll start on the right side. They didn’t need a tight end, but Kelly watched Ertz in college and decided he was too good to pass up. They traded up to get Barkley, who creates a logjam at his position."

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